We asked Anna, creator of the Blackboard Adventures and owner of Cute Moments Photography, where she gets her inspiration, how to photograph squirmy little ones, and the best times to get the best pictures.
What inspired you to start capturing “cute moments” of your baby and other people’s children with the camera?
When I was 5, my Mom told me that I will have to open a daycare one day because I loved babies and children so much. Since I also love photography this was the most natural thing for me.
Blackboard Adventures is such a creative spin on newborn photography, what was the inspiration behind the series?
It all started with the birth announcement of our baby boy, five months ago. Both my husband and I grew up in Europe, surrounded by this powerful myth, that the stork brings the newborn baby. We wanted to use the same image for our baby's announcement. Trying to figure out how on earth we could reproduce it, my husband came up with the idea of drawing it on a blackboard.
How did you choose the storyline you wanted to create on the blackboard?
Somehow this project invented itself a little bit at a time. It was not something planned in advance with meetings or strategies. At first, it was the idea with the stork; then I thought our baby looks like a bear and we did the bear one; then we saw our daughter's skateboard and we thought he would look cool on it; then we were reading too much Peter Pan to our daughter, so we did the one with the pirate, and so on. I believe it all came naturally. ... But we had to re-invent the storyline whenever we took a new photo.
Do you create the chalk drawings yourself, or do you hire a professional?
The "professional" I hired is my husband. He is a very creative, resourceful person. I had no idea he could draw so well. He surprised me!
Do you have any photography tips for new moms trying to capture cute moments with squirmy little ones?
With new ones it's easy. Just wait until they are well fed and fall deep asleep and then... think "Play-Doh". You can place them in any position, as long as it is comfortable and safe for them. For older kids, try taking photos when they are playing or having fun. This is when they have the most natural expressions.
What started as a hobby has grown into a business for you and your husband, do you still find time to do personal family photo shoots?
Ha, ha! Not really. Only when the grandparents start to complain, do we start taking pictures. Living far away, back in Europe, they need those pictures to see their grandchildren growing.
As your son and daughter get older, do they pose for the camera, or hate having their picture taken?
Our daughter hates to be in front of the camera so much, that she even refused to take a passport photo. I can only take her pictures when she is playing with her dad. Then she doesn't care about my camera. That's actually good, because, as you can see in my website photos, I like when kids are natural and not posing. Our baby boy, on the other hand, loves to be in front of the camera and it doesn't look like that will ever change.
The outfits and costumes in your images are super cute, where did you get them?
That's easy! Whenever we see something really cute, that would look good in our photos, we get it. We are using a couple of handmade online marketplaces, local shops and even retailers. We are always looking for new stuff.
Do you have any future projects or photography series coming up?
We have a lot of ideas! If only we would have time for all of them. We plan to launch more photography niche products, like "Blackboard Adventures", and to have a photo project for each one of them. Besides that, my husband is writing a children's book, based on the "Blackboard Adventures" photos. We would like to see that published in the near future.